This chipotle beef barbacoa recipe is easy to make in the slow cooker and SO tender, juicy, and flavorful. It’s perfect in tacos, burritos, salads, and more. Paleo, Whole30, and Keto too!
For Chipotle Lovers
If you are a Chipotle lover, this recipe is for you. Recreate your favorite Chipotle beef barbacoa at home using your slow cooker. It’s much healthier with homemade ingredients, cheaper, and you can have plenty of leftovers or macro meal prep for the week.
I love this recipe because not only is it delicious, but it’s so versatile. I’ve made tacos, salads, and burrito bowls with the Mexican beef. It’s so easy to put all the ingredients into the pot and let the slow cooker do the work. Then, all you have to do is shred the beef and eat.
You’ll love how tender, juicy, and flavorful the beef is, with just the right amount of spiciness, that’s customizable.
What Does Beef Barbacoa Taste Like?
Chipotle Beef barbacoa is tender shredded beef with bold and spicy Mexican flavors. It’s usually made with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, however these peppers in a can contain a lot of sugar (high fructose corn syrup), and unhealthy oils (like canola, corn oil, or soybean oil).
To make this recipe truly Paleo, and Whole30 compliant, I decided to use tomato paste, and chipotle chili powder to imitate the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It turned out just as good, with better ingredients.
How To Make Barbacoa Beef In the Slow Cooker
Cut the beef into 6-8 large chunks. I chose not to sear the beef, because it honestly tastes delicious (fall-apart tender) without the extra step.
Place all ingredients (but the beef) into the bottom of the crock pot. Stir ingredients so that they are well combined, then add in the beef chunks.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours (recommend), or high for 3-4 hours, OR until the beef falls apart easily when shredded with a fork.
Transfer the beef to a plate or cutting board to shred. Shred the beef with two forks, and add it back into the slow cooker. Using tongs, toss the beef with the juices, and cover the slow cooker allowing the beef to absorb the juices for another 10 minutes.
Serve barbacoa beef with a slotted spoon or tongs.
Make a salad: Place some mixed greens in a bowl, and top with the shredded beef barbacoa, sliced radishes, diced avocado, diced onion, fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, etc. To keep it simple, use olive oil for the salad dressing.
Make a burrito bowl: In a bowl place mixed greens, sliced avocado, cauliflower rice or white rice, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, lime juice, diced tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, jalapeños, etc. The possibilities are endless here!
This chipotle beef barbacoa recipe is easy to make in the slow cooker and SO tender, juicy, and flavorful. It’s perfect to use in your favorite Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, salads, and more. Paleo, Whole30, and Keto too!
3 pounds beef chuck roast or beef brisket, cut into 6–8 large chunks
Slow Cooker: Place all ingredients, but the chuck roast, into the bottom of the slow cooker. Stir the ingredients so that they are well combined. Place the chuck roast chunks back into the slow cooker over the liquid sauce. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, or until beef falls apart easily when shredded with a fork.
Shred: Transfer the beef to a plate or cutting board. Shred the beef with two forks.
Toss: Add the beef back to the slow cooker and toss it with the liquid juices. Remove the bay leaves and cover the slow cooker allowing the beef to absorb the juices for another 10 minutes.
Serve: Serve barbacoa beef with a slotted spoon or tongs.
I made this exactly as written and it was soo good! We served it in bowls over cilantro lime cauliflower rice with fresh pico and my whole family loved it. Definitely will make again!
Hey! This recipe sounds amazing, but I’m trying to make it in an instant pot… any ideas as to a cooking time for that? Would really appreciate your input/help!
Me too! Do you have an instant pot conversion?